Fic: The Final Riddle
This was written in response to the Give Eddie some Love! challenge on batmanvillains.
Title: The Last Riddle
Date of completion: 5th Might 2008
Word depend: 2388
Characters: Bruce Wayne, The Riddler, Harley Quinn.
Disclaimer: The characters belong to DC Comics.
Summary: After the Riddler retires and disappears, leaving a really effectively hidden path of clues, Batman ultimately tracks him down to discover what he is hiding.
The place was nothing less than idyllic, actually; a small town in Missouri, a park surrounded by bushes, a river flowing close by. The solar was shining, it was a warm spring day, the sound of youngsters playing crammed the air, a small dog yapped playfully somewhere nearby.
From his automotive Bruce Wayne watched as a woman crouched on one knee, palms held out in an indication of encouragement and reassurance to her child daughter who toddled in the direction of her on tentative little legs. With the odd understanding of every part that only comes with being so younger, the infant seemed to sense Bruce’s eyes, even from the distance, and glanced up over her mother’s shoulder, the distraction causing her to stumble to her knees. The mushy grass cushioned her fall, and she did not cry as her mom helped her back up, dusted down her pink costume, and urged her deadpool mens shirt 2016 on her way once more.
It felt like eternally since Bruce had seen such a sight in Gotham. The parks weren’t secure locations for mothers and babies anymore. This place did not need Batman, so what the hell was he doing there That was what he was there to find out in spite of everything, not as Batman, however in his civilian disguise. He had come to seek out the Riddler.
Bruce had pushed across the town several occasions, on the lookout for him, and now he had discovered him. He’d needed to stop his car abruptly and double-take on the man he’d seen striding throughout the park in the direction of an ice cream van parked nearby. The purposeful gait of his walk was the same as Bruce had recognized, however this particular person before his eyes was a really different creature to the riddling, giggling goblin he had known. A stripe on his shirt was the only signal of the color inexperienced and there didn’t seem to be a query mark in sight.
Bruce obtained out of his automotive and placed on his shades earlier than following after him. The Riddler had not yet seen him, too focussed on the purchase of a strawberry smoothie, a softie with a flake and a twister icepop, to realise that Bruce was approaching behind him. He had been chasing clues for too long, now was the time for answers.
It had been nearly three years since Edward Nigma had left his final riddle in Gotham, emptying all his secret financial institution accounts, dividing his collected tens of millions earned via crime into various charities, earlier than he had disappeared with no suggestion as to what he was going to do next, no traces left behind, no trace, no whisper, no information.
The one manner for Batman to seek out him had been to lay the breadcrumb trail himself, to search, to scavenge, to rattling close to invent the knowledge. Searching night time after night time for any clues, solely to maintain hitting lifeless ends. It was as if the Riddler actually had vanished off the face of the Earth and Bruce had begun to wonder if he had truly died.
Then he had hit one thing, lastly. It had led him to a reputation change, then one other, and a checking account and an handle in Iowa. On investigation it had turned out to be nothing more than a rusty outdated shack, uninhabited for years.
He had turned the place upside down for extra proof, hidden, meant for under him to see, letters scratched in paint and covered in cobwebs and dust, fleeting ghosts of solutions that he had chased till he was dizzy, resulting in puzzles in fragments that had taken him months to put collectively.
Until he had lastly cracked it and tracked Nigma – Or Eugene Allan as he was now calling himself – to the place he worked as a computer engineer, living with a psychiatric doctor named Jeanette Russell, in this sleepy little town. Now to find out what it was all about.
“You’ve got been expecting me…” he announced his presence once the Riddler had safely pocketed his change and had gathered his chilled refreshments into his hands.
The Riddler did not flinch as much as Bruce had anticipated, but slowly turned to face him. “I’ve.” His smile was as manic as ever. “Welcome to my humble new house, Batman.”
Bruce clenched his teeth. The Riddler by no means did something humbly. “What are you up to ” He was in need of patience, actually not in the temper to mess round with trivial niceties. The Riddler had as long because it took for his ice cream to melt to inform him what was occurring.
“That’s the riddle; there are not any extra riddles,” he replied, with a shrug of his shoulders, evidently unaware of the softie already beginning to melt down his fingers. “I simply needed to understand how lengthy it could take you to search out me.”
Bruce scowled. “That’s all !” He’d travelled all that means, merely to play a very long-winded sport of Tag If nothing unlawful was occurring, then what He didn’t altogether hope to get a straight reply to that. In any case, the Riddler was the one who asked the questions, reasonably than giving the solutions.
“Cute child, don’t you assume ” the Riddler asked him with a wierd look on his face, nodding to the mother and daughter Bruce had been watching earlier. The tot was ambling alongside on her personal now, her mother’s palms nonetheless near her, able to catch her if she ought to fall again.
Bruce gave a faint, compelled smile. “Yeah, real cute. What’s the point in —”
“Good woman! That is it!” The mother inspired her daughter as she made another lap on her own. “Come to Mommy… careful now… Good!”
The sound of her voice carried on the hush that lulled now and again and Bruce’s breath stuck in his chest. He hadn’t recognised the girl, she was brunette, she should have dyed her hair, however he recognised her voice in an instant. “Harley Quinn…” So that is what it was all about! The doctor the Riddler was living with… She must have changed her identify too. He’d thought her to be lifeless, misplaced throughout a combat after she had been dragged into one other of the Joker’s plots and again into her outdated ways, but he ought to have recognized … And now she had a baby! The Joker’s baby… His stomach turned over and tied itself right into a knot.
“Harley Quinn is useless,” the Riddler mentioned in a tone of voice that Bruce had never heard him use, “just like everyone thought.”
Not a clue had been left pointing to Harley in the Riddler’s newest intrigue, and there was no likelihood Bruce would have missed anything, as rigorously as he had investigated the matter. Bruce knew Harley and Nigma had been mates for a time, however he’d by no means thought the friendship had run deep sufficient for the Riddler to surrender every part in order to get her out of Gotham and protect her. She had clearly faked her own dying to run from the Joker. Had he threatened her child Did he even know about the baby He stared on the little girl once more. It didn’t add up. Harley had been gone almost 4 years, the child was too younger to have been conceived during her final liaison with the Joker, so…
Bruce slowly drew his eyes again to the Riddler, who was staring intently on the little woman as she took extra steps unaided. The proud eyes of… He could hardly bear deadpool mens shirt 2016 to think about it, let alone think about how it might need happened. From an obsession with the Joker to … Nevermind the fact that he’d never thought the Riddler to be very taken with women in that manner. “Your daughter… ” he spluttered.
The Riddler nodded. “Can’t you see it ” He chuckled quietly as Bruce continued to gawk on the little woman. “No, I suppose she seems more like her mom, which might be finest for her.”
Impossible as it was to believe, Bruce could see it, if he appeared properly. As much as she looked like a miniature of her mom at a first look, she did additionally look like her father. Her strawberry blonde curls were different to Harley’s hair, her options have been extra outlined. Still, he could not even start to think about Harley Quinn getting along with the Riddler, let alone breeding a toddler with him. “I wouldn’t have thought…” He could not really put that thought into phrases, and it will have been rude to anyway. He definitely wasn’t certain if he needed to know the technicalities of all of it.
“We have a good arrangement,” the Riddler retorted slightly indignantly. “It was something we would both all the time wanted and had by no means had; a household, one thing to care for, a reason to be cared for, to succeed at making something good.”
As proud and happy as the Riddler appeared, Bruce could additionally tell that he was scared of getting the whole lot stolen away once more. The reply to this riddle was all too clear actually.
“You didn’t wonder how long it might take me to seek out you,” he said, feeling a tiny pang of pity someplace deep inside himself as the Riddler visibly tensed and swallowed. “You wondered how long it could take somebody to seek out her. Not simply someone. A particular someone.” If the Joker ever obtained the idea that Harley was nonetheless alive, if he ever thought to trace her outdated pals. He raved about her in prison, Bruce knew that. For now he was behind bars, but he all the time found ways.
“We need to be left alone, to leave all the things behind us, to overlook about all that crime and loss of life, and have an entire new life,” the Riddler defined to him, as deadpool mens shirt 2016 if it was that simple.
It was easy, in principle, but in any case he and Harley had finished, the wish could not be so simply granted. Bruce had to wonder why the Riddler was almost asking his permission for it. And now he needed to provide you with a solution to a larger conundrum. What the hell did he do about all of it The Riddler had been on the fitting side of the law for some time now, but Harley… alive, she confronted trial, imprisonment, and he knew the right factor to do could be to drag her again to Gotham and make her face up to her last crimes with the Joker. However dead… she was useless to the Joker too. Was this really the final break from him She’d left him before, reformed earlier than, solely to return to extra abuse and more crime. She had a household now, something to stay straight for …
Bruce looked at her once more. She had no idea he was even there. The rest of the world didn’t exist at all for her, it was just her and her daughter taking part in in the park on a Saturday afternoon. Her eyes didn’t show any sign of the psychopathic sadist that he knew she could be. She regarded happy. Was that mistaken Did she should be completely satisfied Did she deserve this life after all the lives she had helped to destroy Apart from that, was she even fit to be a mom
What concerning the baby Would she develop up living a lie Would she discover out and turn towards her dad and mom Would she find yourself turning into another one to be rounded up in years to come What was the alternative choice Take her away from her parents now, teach her one other lie and still have her turn dangerous Perhaps she’d by no means discover out the truth. Perhaps she’d be forgiving.
Perhaps that wasn’t for Batman to determine. It definitely wasn’t for Bruce Wayne to determine whether or not or to not rip a child from its dad and mom arms. He hoped that the Riddler was right, that Harley Quinn really was dead. He needed to take the possibility. The child deserved the chance, the chance to study the reality, or not.
“I’ll do what I can…” He could assist to cover their tracks, make it inconceivable for the Joker or anybody else to search out them. He did not see any motive why he ought to, however it will also help him to regulate them, simply in case. If he let them go, if he took that threat, he needed to take responsibility for it.
“We can’t be discovered again. Not by anybody,” the Riddler minimize in. “We’re tremendous on our own, Gotham needs Batman more than we do. But thanks for dropping in on us!”
Bruce clenched his fist in his pocket as the Riddler edged past him and walked away, back to his household. His involvement was not wished, the Riddler had only needed to show him. For what motive was past him, was it to rub his face in it, or was it to offer him the selection to do one thing fair himself, a test to topple his ethical high-ground
“Hey there!” he heard Harley greet the Riddler as he settled down on the grass beside her. “Melted ice cream! Icky!” It brought a shiver to his spine. He’d never forget that voice, the things it had said, the best way it had taunted and mocked. “What took ya so long “
“Just some guy wanting directions to the church.” What in hell was that supposed to mean He didn’t even want to determine that one. He watched the Riddler lean in to kiss his daughter on the top of her head. “How are you doing then You gonna walk to Daddy Come on, stroll to Daddy. You can do it … Effectively executed! Need your smoothie now “
Harley laughed because the little girl reached greedily up for the smoothie. “Now that is a silly query…”
With a shudder, Bruce and turned away to walk quickly again to his car. He wasn’t sure why he felt so sick about it. Was it apprehension of all of it blowing up sooner or later Was it jealousy Was it remorse that he could by no means have such a life himself Why did they deserve it Some justice! How might they be so free and have so much when he… nevermind. It was the choice he had made, and now he had to make the selection to depart them alone. This wasn’t part of his world anymore.
He needed to go dwelling. He needed to go dwelling.
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